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Life in the Spotlight

A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Dan Capron

Daniel Capron, is your average 27-year-old Midwestern guy. He was born and raised in Portage Indiana. He works for his family business, goes home, does chores, goes to bed, and repeats. He had been attending Indiana University, but had to postpone his degree to take care of his late grandmother, and now great aunt.

He works as a manager for X-Press Printing in Portage Indiana. His family has owned and operated the business for over 30 years. Capron knows his family’s business inside and out, or “Too well!” as he says. He practically grew up in the shop, and literally grew into his position. He had spent nearly every summer doing work for his grandparents in the shop, and now deals with all of the day-to-day business, from handling sales, to doing the taxes and accounting work.

However, outside of his relatively mundane life, many people locally and abroad would call him a hero. Capron, in most of his spare time, goes to all types of community service. He is on the board committee for two non-profit groups. The first being Our Community, which does a Thanksgiving Dinner, and the Christmas Box, which is the not-for-profit’s 12 days of meals for kids and their families over the winter holiday.

“My motto for all of the community service that I do is, ‘it is a hand up, not a hand out,’” he said. “There are a lot of places that give handouts, and it is not working. We still have a lot of poverty, and people who are just not willing to help themselves. If we put them in a position where they can help themselves, it gives them some self-worth.”

He is currently working on putting together a community kitchen in Portage. The Idea is that for someone to receive a meal they would have to work for one hour per meal.

“I don’t care if they want to scrub the toilets, that’s fine too; whatever they would want to do to put in an hour,” he said.

They have lined up community members in different fields to teach skills from cooks to welders, and even financial classes.

“It is just really is empowering people instead of just giving away stuff, because that is not what we are about.”

The second group is The Independent Missionary Network, where Capron and others go all over the country to do missionary work. He has been to Guatemala once before and is eagerly planning his next trip back. While there, he and the group of missionaries did a lot of work to clean their water. They provided them with water filters, and taught them how to use the filters and maintain them. They also built structures, and poured down cement for floors so that children could crawl around. He also helped install stoves in their houses.

Capron helped in training, and projects involving special needs children.

“We train them in many things. We get them the help they need and teach them to be a functioning part of society,” he explained. “We teach them how to express themselves, and it’s just really interesting.”

Outside of the work that he and others provide, the group also does medical, surgical, and dental trips.

When nothing else is going on in his two organizations, he fills his remaining free time by going to help other charities that he is not associated with.

“Sometimes I just go somewhere one time just to see what they do. I try and help them streamline their process, or just offer my services, and help them get printing cheaper, or whatever the case may be,” he said. “I try to help out in the community.”

Much of his charitable soul he tributes to his grandmother who was always taking him to events, and getting him involved in local groups, like the Boy Scouts. Although he may seem like your run of the mill kind of guy, anyone who knows him will tell you that he is so much more to his family and his community.

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